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Apr 16 2014

Secular Anti-Abortion Link Roundup

A friend is leading a discussion on reproductive justice and would like all the links related to last month’s blow-up in one place. I realized I’d tweeted many of them and, thus, had them collected in other posts already. This is just pulling them all together, though I’m sure I don’t have them all. If I missed anything that contributed to the discussion, please drop it in the comments.

Reactions and Counter-Reactions to David Silverman’s Statement in His CPAC Interview

Reactions and Counter-Reactions to Hemant Mehta’s Pro-Life Humanist Guest Post

  • What Hemant Wouldn’t Print–”There is nothing that becomes new and fresh about the pseudoscience used to place unnecessary restrictions on abortion when the person using that pseudoscience is not religious.”
  • Rending the Tent: The Expansion Continues–”We respect Mehta’s absolute right to determine the content of his blog. We just question his decisions and what it means for the inclusion of women, feminists, and progressives in the atheist community.”
  • What Is #UpForDebate in the Secular Community?–”But at the same time, there are some questions that are clearly outside the bounds of legitimate discussion. No one would tolerate a presentation on whether we should have separate, segregated conventions for black and white secularists.”
  • Equal friendly time–”Hemant Mehta – the ‘friendly’ atheist – has a post about a creationist complaining about not getting equal time with Cosmos. Mehta is scornful.”
  • An Obvious Alternative–”But maybe there’s a way to prevent most abortions AND not force unwillingly pregnant people from staying pregnant. Maybe there’s a third way.”

Reactions and Counter-Reactions to Massimo Pigliucci’s Comments About Abortion Decisions

  • Inalienable–”Also: philosophy types should not act like Spocks. They should not get all surprised and miffed when women who have an investment in abortion rights get pissed off by dispassionate discussion of whether women in fact should have abortion rights.”

More General Discussion of Secular Anti-Abortion Arguments and Tactics

  • What really matters…The So-Called Secular Arguments Against Choice–”Groups like Secular Pro-Life, that openly cooperate with and have members from the Religious Right, can rightly claim that he said there is a secular argument for their cause. One already has.”
  • What Secular Anti-Choicers Are Really Saying–”Giliell, professional cynic, -Ilk-, has decoded the language of those secular people who think women (or trans men) who had the temerity to have sex (or get raped) should carry the resulting pregnancy to term”.
  • On Bodily Autonomy–”I doubt I need to put this in context.”
  • The most vulnerable members–”I’m sure they think they’re secular, I’m sure they aren’t officially religious, but their rhetoric is saturated in religion, whether they’re aware of it or not.”
  • Post the whole sentence, cheaters–”Of course we acknowledge it. A human embryo is of the human species. The issue is not that it’s not human and the issue is not that it’s not alive.”
  • Now Friends on Facebook–”The real threats to life are disease, poverty, violence, war, workplace hazards, environmental hazards, accidents, lack of education – systemic problems, social problems, problems of inequality and malpractice.”
  • Abortion Is a Human Right–”I used to think abortion was hideous, but if mom or baby was in danger, then it could be done.”
  • Magic Sandwich Show, No. 75, Sunday 23 march 2014 (YouTube)–”Topics for discussion include recent discoveries about the universe and abortion.”
  • Secular Pro-Life: A New Religion–”I was raised in a strict Judaic upbringing so I’ve always considered the pro-life position on abortion law to represent a two-fold threat; a threat to not just the rights of women but to the right of my religious group of upbringing to practice their religious beliefs when it comes to abortion.”
  • Secularpro-life: Holocaust Baiting–”Sure, let’s do that math.”
  • Planned Parenthood CHEATS DONORS?!–”And please be aware that making accusations like you made when you lack the tools to understand why what you’re doing is wrong, or have them but don’t care, is at best incredibly irresponsible, at worst ethically repugnant and dangerous.”
  • SecularProLife & AbortionSafety.com–”Some things never change. This is just a modern version of the same tactics the anti-abortion movement has been using since the 1910s.”
  • Is Secular Anti-Choice a Thing? And How Big a Hypocrite Is Rep. Vance McAllister? (podcast)–”On this episode of Reality Cast, I’ll be talking to two activists trying to raise the word that secular anti-choicers aren’t as rational and evidence-based as they pretend to be.
  • Secular Pro-Life Same Old Scare Tactics–”If I were to tell you that a purportedly secular anti-abortion group was engaging in the very same fear mongering and harassment of abortion providers that the largely Christian dominated pro-life groups do; would you be surprised?”

8 comments

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  1. 1
    kaboobie

    Thanks for this list, Stephanie.

    Steve Ahlquist followed up “David Silverman offers compromise on women’s rights” with another post, entitled “Silverman at CPAC: My Interpretation Stands”.

    http://www.steveahlquist.com/2014/03/silverman-at-cpac-my-interpretation.html

  2. 2
    Jackie

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/category/pandagon/

    Amanda Marcotte wrote, Substituting The Word “Nature” For “God” Doesn’t Make Your Argument Less Religious, Anti-Choicers.

  3. 3
    HM

    Thank you for the comprehensive list. I think I’ve read most of them, but will be reading the list

  4. 4
    Stephanie Zvan

    Someone on Facebook pointed out this post from Libby Anne that is highly relevant though unrelated to the blowup: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement.html

  5. 5
    Flewellyn

    I’m struck by how empty of content the defenses of Silverman really are. Appeals to “loyalty” and accusations of tearing the movement apart (I’m looking at you, JT Eberhard), but (aside from Hemant’s “guest post”), no attempts to lay out why it’s a good idea for movement atheism/skepticism to embrace conservative principles at all.

    It’s almost like they don’t have anything.

  6. 6
    Brad

    @ Flewellyn,

    The one thing it comes close to doing for the movement is robbing the religious right of political power by altering the republican party line. Shit secular arguments exist for all the social (non-)issues and we should consider which half of conservatism is easier to fight, libertarians or christians, and then manipulate them to our advantage.

    Silverman fumbled that interview badly, as well as JT and Hemant and others compounding on his error, but the basic idea of setting the oligarchs against the theocrats seems sound to me. It helps us directly on abortion access, since they lose soul arguments as a “lalalalalala can’t hear you.”

    Progress against the rest of the kyriarchy and keeping randroid taint out of the movement is still a concern, but it could start with seeding a secularist version of log cabin republicans.

  7. 7
    Forbidden Snowflake

    That Marcotte article really resonated with me, and helped me put a couple of ideas into place.
    I like reading her, but she’ll have a hard time topping that one.

  8. 8
    Steve Caldwell

    This is a blog post of mine that is indirectly related to the secular pro-life discussion.

    The reproductive choice topic came up after the David Silverman interview where he discussed attending the CPAC convention and how he thought this was a growth opportunity for atheism.

    I have my doubts about this:

    “Conservatism Limiting the Growth of Atheism??”
    http://philosophicalpenguins.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/conservatism-limiting-the-growth-of-atheism/

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